Wander off the beaten path away from Japan’s big cities and popular sites with this 11-day tour that takes you to destinations that are often overlooked. Visit the treasured castle of Matsumoto and learn about samurai culture, relax in a traditional hot spring-fed onsen, and explore the quaint city of Hagi by bicycle, and settle in at a community homestay to truly immerse yourself in the local culture. Of course, there’s time before and after to explore Tokyo and Kyoto, making this trip a well-rounded glimpse into Japan’s past and present.
Day 1 Tokyo
Arrive at any time.
Day 2 Tokyo
Take a CEO-led walking tour of eclectic modern Tokyo from the hub of Shinjuku to Shibuya through Yoyogi Park and Harajuku. The rest of the day is free for exploring more of the city.
Day 3 Tokyo/Nagano
Journey to Nagano, located in the Japanese Alps and host city of the 1998 Winter Olympics. Discover the world-famous Jigokudani Monkey Park and watch Japanese snow monkeys bathing in the natural hot springs.
Day 4 Nagano
Enjoy a day-trip to quaint Matsumoto and visit one of Japan’s most treasured castles. Return to Nagano and explore historic Zenkoji Temple.
Day 5 Nagano/Otsu (1D)
Travel to Otsu in Shiga prefecture. Located on the banks of Lake Biwa, Japan’s largest freshwater lake, the area is known for the Ogoto hot springs. Settle in and relax with a dip in the healing waters of the onsen and dine on traditional fare.
Day 6 Otsu/Hagi (1B)
Enjoy a delicious breakfast at the inn this morning before a long travel day. In the evening, arrive in the quaint city of Hagi, a former castle town that boasts feudal architecture.
Day 7 Hagi (1D)
Explore rural Hagi on a guided morning cycle and spot samurai architecture along the way. Later, travel to your community homestay, a G Adventures for Good project. Meet your host family and get to know each other as you enjoy dinner together.
Day 8 Hagi/Tottori (1B)
Bid farewell to your host family after enjoying breakfast together. Later, travel to Miho-misumi by train, taking in scenic views along the way. Learn the art of making "washi," a UNESCO-recognized traditional Japanese paper before continuing to the seaside town of Tottori.
Day 9 Tottori/Kyoto
Spend the morning exploring Tottori’s scenic sand dunes, some reaching 50m (164 ft) in height. After, visit the local fish market and opt for a fresh seafood lunch. In the evening, travel to Kyoto for two nights in the traditional heart of Japan.
Day 10 Kyoto
Visit the iconic Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine, famed for an impressive 10,000 red torii gates. This afternoon, enjoy free time in this picturesque city. Opt to experience zen gardens, teahouses, shrines, and local gift shops – and maybe even spot a real-life geisha.
Day 11 Kyoto
Depart at any time.
|Departure Date||Return Date||Availability||Price|
Sign up to our weekly Trip Finder email and get a selection of the best trips to feed your Wanderlust